As someone who has played with the betas of the iPhone 3.0 OS, I was excited to see the availability of tethering that would allow me to share the Internet connection between my iPhone and my Mac. With 3.0 around the corner, the feature is coming, but not in the United States.
Wired or Wireless?
Tethering works via Bluetooth for wireless connectivity or via your dock connector and USB cable (which also conveniently charges your iPhone at the same time). Once you pair your devices and turn the feature on, there’s no more setup. Plus, you can still send and receive data and make phone calls on your device while it is tethered! Tethering is not a feature specific to the new iPhone 3G S and will run on both Macs and PCs.
Apple is working with different carriers independently to work out plans for tethering options. At the moment, Apple has announced over 20 carriers that will support tethering, including bharti, Telefonica, Tim, Hutchinson Telecom, ‘yes’ Optus, Orange, TeliaSonera, true move, maxis, Rogers, SFR, O2, SingTel, T-Mobile, Turkcell, Glove, Vodafone, VimpelCom, Luxgsm, Chunghwa Telecom, Telkomsel and Telenor. Most carriers will be announcing specific pricing for this feature that is unique to them. Across the pond, O2 in the UK is offering a package based on the amount of data used with options at 3GB for 14.68 pounds ($23.45) per month and 10GB for 29.36 pounds per month.
No Love for the U.S.?
AT&T, mysteriously absent from the aforementioned list, is not allowing tethering on its 3G network in the United States. While tethering disappeared from recent betas, the underground community brought support back through jailbreaking. It’s reasonable to assume that, while AT&T has not announced pricing or plans for tethering, it will still be possible to tether in the United States either via jailbreaking or via a future deal announced by Apple and AT&T.